Wedding DressEvery bride wants to be the prettiest woman alive on her wedding day, and a large part of that comes from wearing a wedding dress that flatters her in every possible way. However, when it comes to wedding dresses, the word “best” is a very relative term, since what’s lovely on one person can be unattractive on another.

Yet there is a way to find your best dress. Knowing the basic dress design silhouettes, your specific body type, and which design works best with your form is the key to finding a wedding dress that makes everyone, especially your fiancé, see nothing but you on your special day.

Matching Body Type With Dress Design

Every woman generally falls into one of the five major body types: Curvy/Hourglass, Pear-Shaped, Petite, Tall/Slender, and Apple-Shaped. Here’s a quick rundown of each and what dress will show it off best.

  • Curvy/Hourglass figures generally have a narrow waist with equal-sized hips and bust. Almost anything looks good on this shape, but the best choices are Mermaid style or anything with a fitted bodice to show off those curves.
  • Pear-Shaped women tend to have larger hips, thighs and backsides. To minimize these features, choose an Empire or Ball Gown dress or anything with a beautiful neckline and bodice to draw the eye upward.
  • Petite shapes look best in a slim sheath dress because it can add height to a smaller frame. Other good choices are the Trumpet and A-line styles. Be sure to get the hemline just right because something too long or too short can make you appear even smaller.
  • Tall and Slender types can use the Ball Gown or other voluminous styles to appear a bit less tall. To show off that long, lean body and break away from the traditional, go with a Sheath dress.
  • Apple-Shaped women have broader shoulders and narrower hips but can be a little heavier in the stomach area. The best wedding gown styles for this shape have lots of flair around the waist like ruching or beading and a scoop or V-shaped neckline.

Wedding Dress Design Silhouettes

Now that you know your body type, it’s helpful to know what each wedding dress style (also called a silhouette) has to offer, especially once you start shopping. When the bridal shop attendant asks what you have in mind, you’ll be able to confidently state which style or styles you want to see.

  • Ball Gown – This dress is what most people consider the “traditional” wedding dress. It has a fitted bodice and fitted waistline above a very full skirt.
  • Empire – The elegant Empire style features a high waistline that is directly under the bust and a somewhat slimmer skirt.
  • A-Line or Princess – These designs are the epitome of every little girl’s dream dress. These dresses run tighter at the waist or hips and dramatically flare in the skirt.
  • Sheath – This design is a slim cut dress that runs closely along body lines.
  • Mermaid – This is a bolder, more sexy gown which hugs the body down to the knees and from there flows into a flared skirt.
  • Trumpet – Considered a classic fit, the Trumpet fits the torso and hips and then starts to gradually flare out at the middle of the thigh.

The Final Decision

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, here are some ways to make your decision. When trying on a dress, sit down in it, move and even dance around for a bit. If at all possible, you should be both comfortable and beautiful all day long. Also pay attention to the color of the dress and how it works with your skin tone. If you look washed out in a white dress, consider ivory or bone as an option.

Finally, if you put on a dress that makes you feel over-the-top beautiful, forget about body shapes and silhouettes and buy it! Beauty comes from inside, too, and that will make you sparkle in whatever you’re wearing.

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